ST. JOHN’S UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
223 West College Avenue, Bluffton, OH 45817
September 19, 2021
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Rev. Katherine Beckett (567-226-1009) Church (419-358-5641)
No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!
Prelude “We’re Marching to Zion” arr. Mark Hayes
*Opening Hymn “The Church’s One Foundation” P. 544 (vs 1, 5)
*Call to Worship (based Isaiah 55)
One: “Hey there! All who are thirsty, come to the water!
Are you penniless? Come anyway—buy and eat!
Many: Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk.
Buy without money—everything’s free!
One: Why do you spend your money on junk food,
— your hard-earned cash on cotton candy?
Many: Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best, fill yourself with only the finest. Pay attention, come close now listen carefully to my life-giving, life-nourishing words.
One: I’m making a lasting covenant commitment with you,
— the same that I made with David: sure, solid,
Many: I set him up as a witness to the nations, made him a prince and leader of the nations,
One: And now I’m doing it to you: You’ll summon nations you’ve never heard of, and nations who’ve never heard of you
–will come running to you
Many: Because of me, your God, because The Holy of Israel has honored you.”
*Opening Prayer (based on Psalm 119 and 2 Timothy 3-4)
Lord, your words are sweet to the taste, sweeter than honey;
let them be our daily meditation and our study. Give us ears to
hear, for we marvel at your instruction. Train us in
righteousness, grant us patience and persistence, and equip
us for every good work. Inspire our faith, and give us voices to
proclaim your message. Guide our feet, keep us from every
false way, for you alone speak the words of life. Amen.
Time with the Children
Hymn “Open My Eyes, That I May See” No. 480
Prayer for Illumination+
Lord, you have given us your Word for a light to shine upon our path; grant us so to meditate on that Word, and to follow its teaching, that we may find in it the light that shines more and more until the perfect day; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Reading from Hebrew Prophets Isaiah 30:18-22
Reading from Hebrew Wisdom Literature Proverbs 2:1-5
Reading from the Gospel John 10:1-18
Message Listening to Each Other Rev. Katherine Beckett
Hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” P. 72
Pastoral Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer
*Closing Hymn “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us” P. 440
(vs 1, 2 & 4)
Postlude “All Hail the Power” arr. Mark Hayes
*Please stand if you are able
+ written by Saint Jerome, 342-420.
Welcome to worship at St. John’s UCC! May God nourish us with the living water of Jesus Christ, so that we may not wither but may bear fruit to feed our neighbors with justice and love.
This afternoon, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., everyone is invited to a community picnic provided by Bluffton Presbyterian Church. The outdoor event will take place on the church lawn. A picnic meal of hotdog or shredded chicken sandwich, chips, veggies, cookie and bottle of water will be available, while supplies last. Music will be provided by Wes Reese, singer/guitarist. Bakery Bingo will also be available for adults and children. For more information, contact the church office at 419-358-5806 or visit www.blufftonpc.org.
Sunday, October 3, the Neighbors in Need offering will be collected. Please designate the amount of your contribution on your check and giving envelope. We will also celebrate World Communion Sunday as we share the Communion elements with others throughout the world.
Attendance on Sunday, September 12 was 30 persons.
This Week at St. John’s:
Tuesday, September 21—Ladies meet at LuLu’s, 10 a.m.
Tuesday, September 21–St. John’s leads worship at the
Mennonite Home, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, September 22—Men meet at Arby’s, 8:30 a.m.
Wednesday September 22—Food Pantry open, 7 to 8 p.m.
Participants in Worship:
You, the congregation of St John’s UCC
Blaine Bauman—sound technician
Jason Cox, Ben Stahl, Bob Stahl—videographers
The power of listening
“The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen,” says Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, author and integrative medicine professor. “Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention.”
Twice in Mark 4, while teaching, Jesus urges, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen” (verses 9 & 23, NRSV). One way we show what Jesus means to us is by truly listening to his word — not just hearing sounds but being attentive and intentional. Likewise, one way we love and serve others is by respectfully listening to them: not assuming we know what they feel or mean or will say; not planning what to say even as they’re still speaking, but listening deeply to learn about them and their experience.
We often think living our faith calls for great accomplishments or worldwide reach. But Remen says, “A loving silence often has … power to heal and to connect.” Don’t underestimate something as basic and doable as listening as a way to practice Christlike love.
(Taken from the August 2021 NewsletterNewsletter.)